Days after it wrested control of the Jawahar Bagh from the squatters following a violent clash, the state government has decided to turn some of the 270-acre land into an amusement park with all the civic amenities for the residents in Mathura.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had visited the city two days ago with sources in the government saying he floated the idea upon his return. As per plans, the state’s Horticulture Department, which initially owned the land until a cult group took the property under its illegal control, will convert 100.22 acres of the total area into a park along the lines of Lucknow’s Ram Manohar Lohia and Janeshwar Mishra parks.
The government Wednesday contacted private architects who had helped with the design of the two parks in the capital city, sources said.
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The Mathura district administration has been asked to prepare a detailed project report for the land, which will have civic amenities such as pathways, cycle tracks and aromatic plants and trees for locals who may use the developed area for amusement and for their morning and evening walks, a senior government official said. “Further decision will be taken based on the (administration’s) report. Horticulture Department has been asked to coordinate,” Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan said.
The department’s director, S P Joshi, said he will wait for the report from the administration and begin work as per the instructions. Mathura’s District Magistrate Nikhil Chandra Shukla said, “The district’s horticulture officer (Mukesh Kumar) has been asked to prepare a project report, which would be sent to the state government.”
The recovery of the land from some 3,000 members of a cult group, Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, which had occupied the property for over two years, saw one of the most violent clashes with the police in recent times with 29 people, including two senior police officers, getting killed. Although the government was able to wrest control of the property, most of the plot was destroyed by members of the cult group who blew up gas cylinders and set ablaze trees and temporary hutments in a bid to deter the policemen entering the premises.
The horticulture department is currently assessing the loss with officials
“So far, the estimated loss in terms of cost has already crossed Rs 1 crore. We have lost about 3,000 trees,” said horticulture officer Mukesh Kumar, who is preparing a project report together with the architects roped in for the purpose.
Kumar said the area still has about 5,000 trees which survived the violent clash. “The idea is to prepare a project without disturbing the existing trees. We plan to have fountains, aromatic plants, state-of-art lightning arrangements, lawns, benches and tracks among other facilities,” he said.